#36 Thanksgiving

November 10, 2011 at 8:58 am | Posted in adoption issues, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment
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Soon it will be Thanksgiving.  This seems to be a time for taking stock of our lives.  What are we thankful for?  A companion thought to this is – what do we want that we still don’t have?

Parents are in a unique situation with this question because our children’s lives (just like ours) can take many twists and turns, some good and some not-so-good.  I heard a saying once that is not very encouraging, but it says “A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child”.  Actually, that’s a depressing thought, but true many times.  When our children hurt, we as parents hurt.  We love them and want the best for them, and when they are struggling, we are unhappy.

One day our ten year old came home from school with some unhappy news about the day.  I felt terrible for him and immediately felt depressed.  He went out to play and soon I heard a lot of noise outside.  He and his friends were playing baseball in our yard and having a wonderful, boisterous time!  He had set aside the unhappy incident, but I hadn’t.  You would think that should have given me a life lesson and I do think of it often, but still I want only the best for our children and am a bit sad when they are struggling.  Maybe that just goes along with being a parent.

I also heard words of wisdom long before we had children from the mother of a friend of mine.  This woman had seven children, so she knew parenthood!  She said “Your children don’t make your life happy, they make your life full”.  Now we all know children can make your life very happy or very unhappy depending upon what’s going on.  That emotion can change, but this wise woman was looking at the big picture and in spite of happy or unhappy times, children always, always make our lives full.

I think adoptive families, due to the fact that our children could have been placed in someone else’s family, have an even fuller view of life.  We have an added perspective regarding our children.  A biological child seems to naturally belong, but an adopted child is ours through a series of events that are sometimes mechanical, directed by people, not nature.  A slight change in circumstances could have affected the outcome.

Birth is a miracle, but adoption is also a miracle, perhaps even more so.

So, bottom line, it’s Thanksgiving, and even if we are struggling with adoption issues with our children, and they are struggling, we are blessed to have full lives.  Those full lives will have their share of happy and unhappy times, but living a full, deep meaning life is something to be truly grateful for.  We can be thankful for the strength and goodness which guide us in our parenting, thankful for being parents to such special beings as our children, and thankful for the value and depth they give to our lives.

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